Many of you who have met me (either in person or online) will know that I am a passionate advocate of the benefits of sling use, to babies and their families alike, and how fervently I believe that by improving family attachments and giving children a confident start in life we can slowly change the future of our society.
I am also a strong advocate of the power of education and information, to allow people to make choices that they believe are the right ones, and have the strength of their own convictions to be able to encourage others.
One way to do this is to train peer supporters – each extra person who has the skills and the passion to go and help other parents in a safe and supportive way massively increases the exposure and the knowledge out there in the community.
Born to Carry
Therefore, I train peer supporters under the Born to Carry auspices. I was the first trainer to be approved; and now there are several others running courses all around the country (Ipswich, Cambridge, Scotland, Durham, for example). Why Born to Carry? Well, I felt that my time in the sling community and working with parents and other professionals had given me the knowledge I needed to create an excellent course, the very best. I knew what I felt a good course should cover to give trainees just the right set of skills they need to be able to help fellow parents safely and competently. I wanted my trainees to feel they had learned plenty, and to be left with the enthusiasm to get cracking!
Anne and Catherine co-own Born to Carry. These ladies are extremely knowledgeable, experienced and wise members of our industry, and share my interest in empowering others in a way that gives them freedom to provide excellence. They offered me the chance to create my own Peer Supporter course, feeling that my skills and background met their criteria for excellent trainers.
“All Born to Carry trainers have experience of training and a teaching qualification (which varies from person to person). In addition they are all highly experienced babywearing consultants who have shown themselves to have a true passion for teaching others.”
This sounded like the perfect home for me! An initiative dedicated to excellent training, with collaborative resources to ensure our materials meet a minimum basic standard, with flexibility to remain ourselves in teaching. I have now run four peer support courses, three in Sheffield and one in Lancaster, with the fifth course being prepared now.
The Peer Supporter Course aims to enable people who work with parents to give robust, safe advice about babywearing and infuse the people they meet with excitement and confidence about using a sling. It is not a consultancy course, but designed to equip trainees with the tools they need to be able to support the parents they meet. It covers topics such as:
- the benefits of babywearing
- the physiological principles of baby positioning to protect airway, spine and hips
- demonstrating and discussing the safe use of slings in many circumstances (eg feeding)
- confidence with the most common types of sling
- practical teaching skills
- troubleshooting common difficulties
- assessing boundaries and liabilities
It would suit those planning to or currently running sling libraries or sling meets, doulas, midwives, BabyCalm practitioners, antenatal/postnatal teachers etc, and is reasonably flexible to meet the needs of the participants. There is a pre-course questionnaire to complete on booking to allow me to amend content if needed. The course is limited to no more than eight people at a time, to ensure a personal, friendly feel and the opportunity to discuss each trainee’s personal learning goals.
Insurance is available from at least two major companies (who also insure a large number of the babywearing consultants in the UK), and there is after-course support and follow up.
“Everything I had hoped for was met, I feel like a peer supporter now, not just someone who loves slings!”
“I loved the content of the day, the discussions, playing with different slings, learning new ways of slinging, wrapping etc. The course was well run, well organised and I felt empowered to speak, share and question.”
“I feel much more confident in my knowledge of both the benefits of babywearing, and how to go about enabling parents.”
“Rosie was born to teach people. Simply fantastic in the way information was relayed. Would highly recommend.”
“Rosie is sling consultancy at its best. I could never thank her enough for all the support and help she has given me along my baby wearing journey. She’s incredible! Under her guidance we’ve gone from newbies to peer supporters running demo sessions at local children’s centres. Her peer supporter course is simply fabulous. She’s given me the courage to help other mums share those special sling memories with their own children.”
“The whole day was so good! A key element was the ability to see and try so many different types of slings and to have time to go through basic principles regarding how to use them all. The role play aspects where we were able to troubleshoot carrier problems was also very useful.”
“My personal aims were met, it exceeded my expectations. I found the course was extremely enjoyable and covered so much subject matter but was not overwhelming. My aims were well and truly met. I now believe I could give a new babywearer good/correct advice and help in ways I was unsure about prior to the course.”